The Dead Ships,
The TVD First Date

“My parents had divorced years prior, and I had been relocated from the musky soul of Nashville, Tennessee to the grim, stucco plastics of Southern California to resume my new life with my mother and her new husband.”

“Allotted trips back home to Music City U.S.A. started to grow thin, due to the distancing that happens when heartbroken people leave a geography they can no longer relate with, so I had taken to collecting backpacks and suitcases full of memorabilia from my old life, and transporting it back with the excitement of a smuggler.

During one particular load-up, deep into a blanketed southern summer in which all anyone can think of or talk about is the wet fire of humidity, I stumbled across a hidden record stack in the house of my grandfather as he was mowing the lawn and sneaking cigarettes behind the shed that kept his tractor. It was locked away in some ancient puzzle cabinetry that required a bit of intelligence and grace to open, but when it was finally cracked, a whole new world opened up to a young boy who had only known the country music roots of his father and of his own city.

Pam, my mother’s youngest sister, was always the rebel. She stayed out later than any dutiful belle should and came home reeking of something other than tobacco and listened to ELO and AC/DC and generally didn’t seem to care about anything in her teen years, as we all hopefully did when we were young. This lifestyle led her to the obvious cults of rock, funk, and any other genre that defied the cowboy chords and bootstraps of the Grand Ole Opry and the bluegrass pickers down at the Station Inn.

The collection had to be hers. I imagined her running away from home, sneaking silently out of her bedroom window with a packed bag and a youthful fury in her eyes, devastatingly shedding a tear for the manuals on rebellion she was leaving behind, unknowing that she was burying gold to be unearthed by someone who was unaware of the expansiveness in structured, loud noises.

I had seen circular wax by that point, recalling the John Prine and Kris Kristofferson albums that my father would hoard and study when he was on the brink of breaking into the country mainstream, but I had never owned any for myself, or stolen any, up until this chance encounter. The next day I boarded my plane with a weighted carry-on, not entirely eager to get back to the confining sunshine of Fullerton, California, but filled with a foreboding addiction for what was waiting for me on the other side of these sleekly black, artifactual disks that were posed to change the course of my life for an indefinite amount of time.

Upon arrival, and after begging my mother’s poor soul for months, which was headstrong in the desire to leave the previous jaunt of being married to a musician behind her, I received a gift in the shape of a Funkmaster Flex Battle Pack with two competition-sized Numarks and a double-channel battle mixer, ready and waiting not for the hip-hop I was soon to dive into, but for the stash of rock I had lifted from the dusty living room of a forgotten time.

The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat, Steely Dan’s Aja, KISS’ Double Platinum, The Stooges’ Fun House, and King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King were just a few of the records that ignited my angsty voyage into the universe of sonic promiscuity, and fueled a budding desire to join a band later in life, to ultimately throw all conventional stereotypes of existing in an adult world away with a glimmer in my eye for the wild and the unpredictable.

So, in the end, my Aunt Pam is partially to blame for my becoming a bass player and joining a band that wants nothing more than to be left for someone to hear, decades down the road, after being tucked away on a shelf of yesteryear, waiting for a new set of ears to destroy and emancipate from the troubles and struggles of finding oneself, and then elaborating upon it.”
Alex Moore

The Dead Ships’ Citycide is in stores now via Nevado Music—on vinyl.

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